Tuva Novotny and Pernilla August adapting Britt-Marie Was Here
by Vassilis Economou
- The Swedish star duo will bring Fredrik Backman’s bestseller, a tale of love and second chances, to the big screen
A film adaptation is scheduled of Fredrik Backman’s second bestselling book Britt-Marie Was Here, which will be ready for Christmas 2018. A Man Called Ove [+see also:
film profile], a film adaptation of one of his previous novels, directed by Hannes Holm, became an instant success both in his home country and abroad, getting as far as the Oscar nominations and receiving the European Comedy Award at the 2016 EFAs.
Britt-Marie Was Here will be the debut feature helmed by top Scandinavian actress Tuva Novotny (Borg/McEnroe [+see also:
film profile]) – she has so far only directed various episodes of TV series (Lilyhammer and Dag) – and the titular leading role will be entrusted to another local and international star, Pernilla August.
A woman in her sixties, Britt-Marie (August) lives in a miserable little town. She can’t stand disorganisation, and she wants everything to happen in accordance with her own mindset. She seems quite awkward socially, and her helpful suggestions are usually wrongfully interpreted as criticism. Britt-Marie still hides her imagination and dreams from everyone and one day decides to change everything – starting by divorcing her unfaithful husband of 40 years, taking new chances in life and starting from scratch.
Novotny mentioned in her interview for Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter, “Our vision is to create a film that can be placed between Toni Erdmann [+see also:
Q&A: Maren Ade
film profile] and Mamma Mia! [+see also:
film profile] The first portrays real human relationships, while the second film has a very pleasing and bright feeling.” Regarding August, the director added: “Pernilla is the one and only. It requires a super-flexible and organic actor with a sense of humour and drama to carry such a role. Nobody else has Pernilla’s talent.”
The script will be adapted by Maria von Heland (Big Girls Don’t Cry) and Øysten Karlsen (Dag), with Backman’s approval, as happened with A Man Called Ove, a freer adaptation of his book. Experienced cinematographer Jonas Alarik (Ravens [+see also:
interview: Jens Assur
film profile]) is also confirmed, while the rest of the cast and crew will be announced shortly.
Britt-Marie Was Here will be a Swedish-Norwegian co-production by Nicklas Wikström Nicastro and Gustav Oldén (SF Studios), with John M Jacobsen (Filmkameratene). The shoot is planned to start by April or May in Gothenburg, and the local release is expected by the end of December.
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